Review: Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands

Title: Rebel of the Sands
Series: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Pages: 
314
Publisher:
Viking Books for Young Readers
Rating: 

 

 

If she doesn’t get out of Dustwalk, Amani is bound to end up wed or dead—both equally bad fates in her eyes. In a world where women aren’t meant to be seen or heard, and are viewed as property, all she wants to do is escape the ownership of her uncle. But she never imagined escaping on the back of a magical horse with a mysterious stranger.

This is going to be slightly brief, it’s been a little bit since I finished this book, but I basically say all I have to say.

I like the dessert setting and culture. It’s a mix between Middle Eastern and Old Western, where the town feels very much like that cowboy small town focused on mining and guns. But then the larger culture and of the world is more Middle Eastern. It’s easy imaginable where I didn’t need too much world building, but still got enough. The infusion of magic and those that have abilities was very interesting,

Amani’s language was a little choppy at first, but I understand it’s also her dialect. I feel like it either smoothens itself out or I just grew used to it. She has a lot of growth even though she starts out and ends willful and strong and I of course loved that. Amani refused to be sold and controlled just because she was supposed to as a woman. Her ideas and dreams weren’t of a revolution but survival. She’s also a badass sharpshooter, which I feel like seeing a girl have that skill in a fantasy novel is pretty unique. But, it’s in that middle period that we see her become vulnerable as she faces a lot of self discovery.

Jin was cute. I always fall for the roguish swindlers. He kind of reminds me of an Aladdin-type character; mischievous, charming, and on the run. There’s a great push and pull between them. I’m also a sucker for banter.

The only thing I would say is that a lot of the secondary characters are very flat; they’re not fully developed in that we don’t fully get their motivations, they’re just doing thigns because that’s how they do them and to move the plot forward.

This novel is fearless and fun. Our characters end up on an unexpected path and adventure that leasds to so much more. You can find Rebel of the Sands on Amazon and the author at  rebelofthesands.co.uk.

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Review: The Lady Janie’s My Lady Jane

Title: My Lady Jane
Series: The Lady Janies
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows  
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Pages: 494
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 

 

 

I finally understand what all the fuss is about this book. My Lady Jane It’s witty, humorous, and beyond clever. I flew through this novel, unable to not turn the page.

The writing and style of this book was just so unexpected, unique and amazing. It has an Ella Enchanted feel to it (the movie, of course). I love the inclusion of a narrator, that omniscient and direct voice that kicks off the story (very briefly popping into the text) along with the multiple character points of view we get.

So this is very loosely historically based, part of what makes it so loose is that in this story there’s magic. And this magic system is so unique, like nothing I’ve read before, really both cool and quirky at the same time. Essentially there are two types of people in this world (blanking on the group names and don’t have the book on me so we’re going to call them E and V). Es have an animal form they shift into, while Vs are just your regular average Joes, except for the fact that they hate and resent Es. It does create tension and definitely has something to say about prejudice. Continue reading

Review: Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows

Title: Six of Crows
Series: The Six of Crows Duology
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Pages: 462
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Company
Rating: 

I’ve been reading such deservingly-hyped books lately. Six of Crows was part of my Make Me Read It Readathon TBR, and I’m so glad that it was the one book I actually got to—no shame, I was too deep in the Raven Boys to stop. I liked Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy, there were definitely parts that were eh for me, and I no means like loved, loved, loved it, but it was pretty solid. This book just did so much more for me. DISCLAIMER: This is going to be short and a little vague because I read this book a while ago and didn’t take notes, but I still wanted to talk about it.

First off, I felt the pacing was a lot better. In Leigh’s other books things were often dragging, Six of Crows and the plot of the heist had the perfect build up and then execution. I also love the group feel in this book. Lately, I’ve really gotten into stories that aren’t just about one person or even two people, but have more of a cast of characters. Like book friend groups are an absolute favorite for me, I just want to join them on whatever mission they’re on.

We start off in Ketterdam, a hub of trade where there is a large criminal and gang-based underworld. One of the pseudo-leaders of this underworld is Kaz Brekker. When offered the cash-in of a lifetime for completing a deadly heist, Kaz knows he can’t do it alone and assembles basically an all-star criminal team—Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenik, Jesper Fahey, Matthias Helvar, and Wylan Van Eck. Continue reading

Review: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 409
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rating: 

 

 

Please excuse this review if I’m a little vague or ramble-y, I read this book right before I fell into my blogging slump but really still want to share my thoughts on it.

Essentially the plot of the story is Blue’s family is full of psychics, that’s their thing—except her—and all her life she’s been told her kiss will cause her true love to die. But this never seemed like a problem, until four Raven Boys—the rich school kids who she always hated—suck her into their quest for a dead Welch king.

I finally understand what all the hype is about; I want myself some Raven Boys. This book was just so delightful. I don’t read a lot of books where magic exists in like a normal contemporary setting—usually it’s more fantasy-based, so this was a fun and bit different read for me.

I’m going to touch base on the writing really quick. Maggie’s writing itself is always detailed and beautiful. Her language is always strong and evocative, just as magical as the plot of the story. This book does a really interesting thing with point-of-view though. We’re in third person, and while it does usually focus on the group of around four main characters, it also switches to some of the less major characters. It’s not dictated by chapter or anything, it’ll just switch. At first it’s definitely an adjustment, but I think once you just make yourself keep going with it you almost forget. Continue reading

Review: Laura Stampler’s Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies

Title: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies
Author: Laura Stampler
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: July 19th, 2016
Pages: 
320
Publisher:
 Simon Pulse
Rating: 

 

 

Confession time, I’ve always wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw. Okay maybe less disastrous in my love life—but in the sense of wanting to take the city by storm and have a kick ass writing career. It’s because of that reason that I fall sucker to stories like these.

Harper has gotten offered a summer dating blogger position at the teen magazine—sure she wasn’t their first choice, and she has essentially zero dating experience, besides a few less than memorable kisses, and she used her best friend’s personal and disastrous story for her submission. No big deal right?

Dating in the big city should be easy, except for mansplainers, free-loaders, a totally not her type dog walker, and possibly her type hipster boy. Add in overly competitive interns, an “aunt” that acts way younger than her age, and an on-deadline magazine and the crazy begins.

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is the perfect mix of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. As someone with big city dreams, reading it felt like having stars in my eyes. The fashion, the fun, the hustle, the bustle, the drama; all of it is New York in a nutshell. Continue reading

Review: Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All [ Biannaul Bibliothon – Day 2 ]


once and for all Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 
358
Publisher:
Viking Books for Young Readers
Rating: 

Today is day two of the Biannual Bibliothon! I know I’m posting a little bit late again, but I wanted to get in this blogging challenge of writing a review—which I kind of needed to get done anyway. This challenged is being hosted by MissSassyKassie so go stop by her blog!

Sarah Dessen is a queen to me, I absolutely adore all her contemporary novels. That being said, I had super high expectations for this book, and it was probably one of my most anticipated books this year. I mean a) it’s by Sarah Dessen b) her last novel Saint Anything was my favorite and c) this book’s protagonist has a mom that’s a wedding planner. THAT MEANS THE BOOK TAKES PLACE AT A TON OF WEDDINGS! I love weddings if you couldn’t tell.

But, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed this book and it was a good one, but I just felt like the relationships between all the different characters—specifically Louna and her mom, and Louna and Ambrose—weren’t fully realized.

Basic plot, serial-dater Ambrose finds the girl he finally wants in Louna, only she doesn’t realize it. So to get her attention he makes a bet, he’ll try out her way of only dating one person, while she has to try out his way of dating almost everyone. First to cave loses, and winner get’s to pick the loser’s next date. OBVS CAUSE HE WANTS TO PICK HIMSELF FOR HER. Continue reading

The Ones That Got Away Pt. 3

I’ve fallen behind with my reviewing so these are a couple rapid fire reviews of “the ones that got away,” or books I read and am not writing full reviews for. I really enjoyed these, read the descriptions below as well as my condensed thoughts and ratings!

signs point to yes by Sandy Hall

If only Jane’s Magic 8 Ball could tell her how to get through the summer. With her “perfect” sister, Margo, home for her “perfect” internship, Jane is not going to be able to spend the summer writing fan fiction, as she had planned. And her emergency babysitting job requires Jane to spend the whole summer in awkward proximity to her new crush, Teo, a nerdy-hot lifeguard with problems of his own. With his best friend out of town, Teo finds himself without anyone to confide in…except Jane. Will Jane and Teo be able to salvage each other’s summer? Even the Magic 8 Ball doesn’t have an answer…but signs point to yes.

MY THOUGHTS: CUTE, LIGHT, SWEET, HATE TO LOVE
MY RATING: 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

MY THOUGHTS: FUN SUMMER READ, SWEET BEST FRIENDS, ALL AMERICAN LOVER INTEREST, DEVELOPED, CUTE
MY RATING:  Continue reading

Review: Kathryn Prudie’s Burning Glass

Title: Burning Glass
Series: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 
512
Publisher:
Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 

Forgive me if this is a little short, I read it a while ago but still wanted to get this up. 

I really like this book and the plot and the concept and characters and all that, I just think the pacing was off for some of it. That’s really my biggest complaint. I mean it’s like over five-hundred pages, and it didn’t need to be. The beginning where she’s just at the abbey just felt like forever. 

The auraseer ability was really interesting and unique. Essentially, these girls can sense and absorb the feelings of others and because of this they are trained to serve the Emperor. 

 I think the takeaway and what sets the magic system in this book apart from others, is that usually powers are considered a gift in other books or series but the auraseer ability definitely comes across more as a curse.

I mean not only does it force girls out of their families and lives to live in this abbey and train and serve against their will, but it all just seems overwhelming. Like Sonya–our protagonist who is an auraseer–is actually in pain and loses control because she becomes overwhelmed by those around her.

That’s really why I was a little more lax with Sonya, there were parts she really frustrated me but I kinda just had to remember what she was dealing with and how vulnerable it made her. She’ll never be my favorite protagonist but showing weakness also means something in my book. 

Emperor Valko is an interesting “villain.” I mean I definitely hated him the whole time but that was moreso because he was being abusive to Sonya–not necessarily in a physical sense, but all the same. Like he’s a manipulative slimeball,and not a very great ruler (a bit powerhungry and uncaring about the small people), but he isn’t even close to the worst emperor out there. So I hate him as a person but the whole overthrow thing was a little whatever. 

Anton on the other hand is perfect. Okay, maybe not perfect but pretty close. He’s the Emperor’s brother. Weird thing is they were raised separately and the whole time Anton thought Valko was dead and he’d rule. 

But he has that brooding and mysterious but at the same time sweet and caring trope covered, one I enjoy. Him and Sonya are really something. At first there’s definitely that untrust and combativeness between them but it quickly changes to understanding and protectiveness. 

Overall it’s an interesting read to anyone who likes fantasy books with a king system and rebellion, and aspects were unique but really some of the book dragged. 

Something else is this is going to be a series, but really the way the first book ends is kind of tied up. You can read it as a standalone if you want, which I like. 

Like I said, a little short and vague but I wanted to let y’all know about Burning Glass so here it is. 

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS!